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David Lyle Foundation opens for submissions after three-year hiatus

The David Lyle Foundation (DLF) in the UK has opened for scholarship submissions after a three-year hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic.

David Lyle

The DLF is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to help young executives build successful careers in the international TV business.

It awards two annual scholarships to successful candidates who receive a one-year programme of education and development designed to fast-track their understanding of the global TV content business.

The scholarship winners are chosen from a shortlist of candidates selected by the DLF’s advisory board, which consists of execs from across the entertainment industry. Criteria for selection includes a demonstration of ideas of how TV can remain relevant to younger audiences and help to address global challenges.

Each winner will receive complimentary subscriptions to international content business magazines and websites, worth in excess of £3,000 (US$3,795), as well as free access to more than 15 content business events, worth up to £10,000.

Also included in the scholarship package is a contribution of up to £1,000 for travel and subsistence to attend events of choice, and access to the DLF advisory board for up to four mentoring sessions across the year.

Companies supporting the programme include C21Media, the Edinburgh TV Festival, Pact, Frapa, Natpe, Broadcast, Realscreen, TBI and RX.

Scholarship applications open today and will close at the end of March. The 2024 programme will run from April this year to April 2025.

The first two DLF scholarships were awarded in January 2020, but the programme was frozen until now due to the Covid pandemic and recovery period. The inaugural winners were Chris Sanders, development producer at Rare TV, and Gabriella Lafor, development consultant and director of LineLight.

Lafor said the scholarship programme had “been a complete eye-opener and inspired me in more ways than I can count.”

“I’d say to future applicants — and I’m addressing my own community specifically here — black people are still heavily underrepresented in all of the spaces I’ve been given access to over the last 12 months. I’d encourage as many people as possible to apply for a DLF scholarship. The insight you gain from this scheme is nothing short of game-changing,” she added.

Sanders said: “The breadth of experiences the scholarship provides — from international conferences, subscriptions to the trade press and one-on-one sessions with industry leaders — really helped build my confidence at a crucial time in my career.

“For those looking to take a step up, but who are unsure how to go about it, a whirlwind year with the DLF will without doubt bring you into contact with the people and ideas you need to make the change. But perhaps most important of all is that DLF is not so much a scholarship as a family. The love and support on offer really does help you to navigate what is sometimes a very tricky industry.”

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